A new study conducted by the University of California, Berkeley’s Center for Labor Research and Education and the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research discovered a surprising reason why black and latino children do not have insurance. The study published in the International Journal for Equity in Health found that more than half of black and latino parents were not aware that their kids were eligible for free or low-cost health insurance.
Between 2011 and 2014, researchers went to 97 sites areas with low-income residents and recruited parents at Goodwill stores, laundromats, public libraries, food banks and other community centers. They found that a group of children did not have any insurance and one of the reason was because their parents didn’t know that black and latino kids up to 18 years qualified for subsidized insurance.
Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) were developed to give society’s most vulnerable kids a chance at health care. But, parents must know that their kids are eligible in order to sign their kids up for the programs to receive coverage.
Glenn Flores, a health-policy researcher and pediatrician at Medica Research Institute and the Mayo Clinic, who led the study said that this result indicates this system is not designed to keep kids on insurance.
Flores also said that two-thirds of the uninsured children in the study had special health-care needs such as eczema, allergies, and asthma, and 40 % had no usual source of preventive care. 35% of parents had financial problems that they attributed to their kids’ health.
California Health Interview Survey
Using California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) data, the study concluded that California residents without health insurance fall into four groups:
In the first group, there are residents who do not qualify for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act are predominantly low-income as they are undocumented residents and have limited English language proficiency. This group represents 32%.
28% belong to the second group which are Those eligible for Medi-Cal: Adult citizens and lawfully present immigrants with incomes at or below 138 % of the federal poverty level, and children at 266% of the poverty level.
Citizens and lawfully-present immigrants with incomes from 139 percent to 400 percent of the poverty level are in the third group. These represent 31% and are eligible to buy health coverage on the state exchange, Covered California, with a federal subsidy to help offset.
Finally, 9% belong to the fourth group. These are eligible to buy health coverage in Covered California but not eligible for federal subsidy as they have income above 400% of the poverty level.
Source: Albany Daily Star